Colonialism and its Aftermath

Port Arthur Historic Site

Displaying The Convict Era

The convict era and its associated trappings have long been a draw card amongst tourists to Tasmania. This project will examine ways in which the material culture of convict transportation and other artefacts have been used to interpret the experience of convict transportation to Van Diemen's Land overtime.

Arthur, Franklin And Port Arthur

Governors George Arthur and John Franklin had very different views on the administration of convicts in Van Diemen's Land. Under Arthur a hardline system of convict management was introduced, whilst Franklin's tenure is noted for the colony's cultural advancement. At Port Arthur, a penal station established under its namesake, the different approaches favoured by these men were to influence the lives of the settlement's prisoners and administrators. It is the intention of this study to explore how the administration of Port Arthur changed between 1833 and 1843, with a particular focus on the application of scholastic and religious education. Were these changes a reflection of the personalities of these two powerful men?

Talking About 'The Convict' In The Nineteenth Century

How was 'the convict' represented through the pages of contemporary newspapers? Using a 'slice' approach corresponding with major changes in the treatment of convicts - the development of Port Arthur and Point Puer, the delivery of the Bigge Report, the change from assignment to probation, the introduction of separate punishment, the end of transportation - investigate changing depictions of 'the convict'. How did these contribute to those changes?

Out With the Gothic: Source Strategy and Media Outcomes

Over the last five years, the management of Port Arthur has encouraged visiting journalists to look beyond the 'blood-soaked' gothic stereotype that surrounded the site in the 20th century. This project measures the success of that strategy by analysing recent media texts and interviewing journalists and their Port Arthur 'sources'. In this way, both the outcomes of the strategy and the behind-the-scenes dynamics that produced the stories can be examined.

Buildings are Ideas

The carceral buildings at Port Arthur, the Penitentiary and the Separate Prison in particular, express nineteenth-century ideas about how adult male deviants should be treated in order to transform them into skilled and obedient members of society. The new Risdon Prison, currently under construction, also embodies such ideas. The successful candidate will be expected to use a range of material held by the Port Arthur Historic Site, State Library, the Archives Office of Tasmania and the UTAS library to analyse these ideas and their architectural expression in the nineteenth and the twenty-first centuries, with a view to understanding the place which Port Arthur occupies in the history of carceral institutions for adult males in Tasmania.